Satellite Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma

Germany suspends space cooperation with Russia, shuts down its space telescope

We continue to hear about gestures sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine from various entities. In the world of space exploration, various actors have also chosen to condemn the action taken by the country. Recently, Germany decided to turn off its eROSITA space telescope after the interruption of all scientific cooperation between the two nations.

The eROSITA telescope is an observatory specializing in the study of black holes. It was launched in 2019 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, aboard the Russian-made Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma satellite. The mission was co-funded by DLR or the German Aerospace Center, and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

On Wednesday March 2, a spokesperson for Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, builder and manager of the eROSITA telescope, announced that the device had been put into safe mode during contact with the base. on the floor which took place on Saturday 26 February.

A logical sequence

This decision regarding the eROSITA telescope was taken after the statement made by the German Federal Minister of Education and Research on February 25. The Minister had announced the immediate suspension of cooperation with Russia in the field of science and research. On March 3, the DLR also announced that it would suspend its collaborations with the country.

In its statement, the DLR said that following the aggression against Ukraine led by Russia, the executive committee of the center has decided to stop all cooperation on current and future projects. DLR added that no new projects or initiatives involving Russian research institutes will be undertaken.

The case of the ISS

Germany and Russia have worked together several times in the field of space. For example, there was the Bion M mission in 2013, which involved sending 45 mice and several lizards, as well as species of snails and fish, into space for a month.

However, the most important cooperation between the two countries in the space field undoubtedly takes place on board the International Space Station (ISS). Germany is the main contributor to the ESA or European Space Agency, which works in partnership with several countries including Russia to operate the ISS. German astronaut Matthias Maurer is currently on board the space station with 2 Russian cosmonauts and 4 American astronauts.

For years, the ISS was considered a project outside of any political consideration. But with what is happening now, officials are beginning to wonder about its future. Russia has indeed announced that it will not cooperate with Western countries during future space missions.

So, the future will tell how the issue of the ISS will be settled, but Germany, in any case, decided to comply with European sanctions against Russia.


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